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Walking With the Bakers

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And now the next time...

Written by Roger.

Okay, officially things are back to the original problems. I have a new lump, originally theplace where the old cancers lived. This time, things are different. I had enough cancer that fighting it was very direct. This time, things are dfferent. I am taking chances to survive. 

The doctors first tried a direct approach. I was told the five-inch surgical exam didn't even go that far. The results showed more cancered brain than many couldn't survive. Sort of complementory but not too fun. I was put into a radiology treatment (fun!) and I am now out from that treatment for 2 days. I am waiting for the word on what we try next. Or if we'll being trying something. That's a tough situation. But all and all, Sue and I have worked hard to be ready for the time of death. Looks like this probably is the time.

I know that saying anything like that is difficult for people to get used to seeing a death. Having been in parts of ministry for most of the last 18 years, I literally cannot compute the numbers of deaths I have helped the family. Odd perhaps, most burial ceremonies have been happy, and remember the dead politely in wonderful memories of the best of the life and ignore the person's mistakes. Of course, the dead cannot remember the sting of the wrongs they have done. It's a cute movie theme, but I don't believe that is the way it works.

Remember the line from St. Paul? The words, "I have fought the good fight" say what I feel. I have learned to better keep silence, to thanks those who need to hear "thanks" and to care for the illness. I know the need for other people and I am no longer ashamed to be less than excedingly grateful for the many people working upon my illness. These are the people I would want to thank them, but they are so deticated to caring for the ill that your name becomes more distant daily than you own love, and respect comes to you for daily prayer with thanksgiving. "Give to the Lord for he's so good; expression his of love endures forever."

As I am taking to the new station nearing the last parts of life, please know that I have been steadily cared for. Sue is improving our house into a much more home. Her father Bill had his own bedroom and the care he needed, with Sue and I with our boys Micheal and Matthew in the house (along with a paid helper), until he passed almost a year ago. He left ready for death, though his understanding was different than mine. But Bill and I both agreed to meet in the coming times.

I will get to compare our opinions with his experience in death. Of course, our experience is always from the prespective of those who pass on. If I could write more, I would. The only thing that I can say I saw was in the last days of an elder woman for her last months while pastoring. Her appearance in the coffin was nothing sort of amazing. Her face, the expression, was both beautiful and incredibly glowing. Perhaps make-up might have addded to her appearnce, but my impression that her happiness to sing and her love of her children mattered her most. A happy time, a special time.

Her family, all her children (the yougest was my age) wanted to leave the coffin until the time of burial. We kept the coffin open until the time to go to the burial. I hope I can delight my wife and children that they can see the possibilities for Christians. I love my family and those who read. This is a wonder, positive change. I know I have probably only a year, perhaps less. But my vision so far is both amazing and comfortably simple. I believe that my next stop will be happy. I am unafraid.

Hey, relax. I am not over-pained or crazy. This is my life and a slow view of my death. I am unafraid. Thanks be to God! Amen.